How can I make chili oil noodles?

Introduction: What are chili oil noodles?

Chili oil noodles, also known as "dan dan noodles," are a popular Chinese dish that is both spicy and flavorful. The dish consists of wheat noodles that are coated in a spicy chili oil sauce and topped with minced meat and vegetables. The heat level can be adjusted to personal preference, making it a versatile and customizable dish.

Chili oil noodles have been around for centuries and can be found in various regions of China, each with its unique twist on the recipe. It has gained popularity outside of China, with many restaurants serving their own take on the dish.

Equipment needed to make chili oil noodles

To make chili oil noodles, you will need a few essential pieces of equipment, including:

  • A large pot for boiling the noodles
  • A wok or large skillet for cooking the chili oil sauce and meat
  • A colander for draining the noodles
  • A spatula or wooden spoon for stirring and mixing the sauce and noodles
  • A bowl for serving

Make sure to have all the equipment ready before starting the cooking process to ensure a smooth and efficient experience.

Ingredients for chili oil and noodles

The following are the ingredients needed to make chili oil noodles:

Chili oil:

  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons Sichuan peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce


  • 8 oz wheat noodles
  • 1/2 lb ground pork or beef
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Make sure to have all the ingredients ready before starting the cooking process.

Preparing the chili oil: step-by-step guide

To make the chili oil, follow these steps:

  1. In a small saucepan, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the red pepper flakes, Sichuan peppercorns, sesame seeds, ginger, and garlic.
  3. Cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the ingredients are fragrant and the oil turns red.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes.
  5. Add the sugar and soy sauce to the pan and stir to combine.

The chili oil can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month.

Preparing the noodles: step-by-step guide

To prepare the noodles, follow these steps:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. Add the wheat noodles and cook for 5-7 minutes or until al dente.
  3. Drain the noodles in a colander and rinse them under cold water to stop the cooking process.
  4. In a wok or large skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
  5. Add the ground meat and cook for 5-7 minutes or until browned.
  6. Add the green onion, cilantro, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, Sichuan peppercorns, salt, and pepper to the skillet and stir to combine.
  7. Add the cooked and drained noodles to the skillet and toss to coat with the sauce.

Mixing the chili oil and noodles

To mix the chili oil and noodles, follow these steps:

  1. Pour the chili oil over the cooked noodles and toss to coat.
  2. Adjust the spice level to your preference by adding more or less chili oil.
  3. Serve hot.

Tips for adjusting the spice level

To adjust the spice level, you can add more or less chili oil. You can also add more or less red pepper flakes and Sichuan peppercorns. If you prefer a milder dish, you can also remove the seeds from the red pepper flakes before adding them to the chili oil.

Serving suggestions for chili oil noodles

Chili oil noodles can be served as a main dish or as a side dish. They pair well with steamed vegetables or a side of rice. You can also top the noodles with additional cilantro, green onion, or sesame seeds for added flavor and texture.

Variations on the basic recipe

There are many variations of chili oil noodles, depending on the region and personal preference. Some variations include adding peanut butter or tahini to the sauce for a creamier texture or adding pickled vegetables for a tangy flavor.

How to store leftover chili oil noodles

Leftover chili oil noodles can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. To reheat, simply microwave or heat in a skillet over medium heat.

Frequently asked questions about chili oil noodles

  • Can I use other types of noodles?
    Yes, you can use other types of noodles, such as rice noodles or egg noodles.
  • Can I use other types of meat?
    Yes, you can use other types of meat, such as chicken or tofu.
  • Can I make the chili oil less spicy?
    Yes, you can adjust the spice level by adding less red pepper flakes and Sichuan peppercorns.

Conclusion: Enjoying your homemade chili oil noodles

Making chili oil noodles at home is a fun and flavorful experience. With just a few essential ingredients and equipment, you can create a delicious and customizable dish that is sure to please your taste buds. Whether you prefer a mild or spicy dish, chili oil noodles are a versatile and satisfying meal that can be enjoyed any time of the day.

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Elise DeVoe

Elise is a seasoned food writer with seven years of experience. Her culinary journey began as Managing Editor at the College of Charleston for Spoon University, the ultimate resource for college foodies. After graduating, she launched her blog, Cookin’ with Booze, which has now transformed into captivating short-form videos on TikTok and Instagram, offering insider tips for savoring Charleston’s local cuisine.

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